Hi Friends! Today I want to share with you the story of how Chris and I were able to buy our little farm in our early twenties.
People are often surprised that we live here and own this property. One time someone came over and asked where my parents were. Another time someone came by the house to fix the furnace and called Chris later saying he spoke to his “daughter.” Once I was told straight out, “you don’t look old enough to live here.” I was even asked if we inherited the property on one occasion. All those different scenarios demonstrated to me that people have this assumption that a young couple doesn’t have the ability to, nor would they want to, move to a farm.
So today, in this post, I am going to share with you just how we were able to purchase our own little 12 and a half acre hobby farm, and make our dreams come true. Before I share this story, I want to acknowledge there are many factors in our lives that allowed us to be in the position that we are, for example, to be able to have most of our college costs paid for, to even be able to go to college, and the ability to acquire stable jobs. We had a few steps up that I don’t want to ignore. However, there were some key actions and decisions that we made throughout our adult lives, that allowed us to be able to make our dream come true at such a young age. Chris and I are not extraordinary people. While we have good, stable jobs, they do not pay a very high amount, neither of us are making anywhere close to six figure salaries, yet our dreams still came true.
There was a long journey to get here, it didn’t start in our adult lives, it started with really important lessons about finances and saving at an early age. Both Chris and I are frugal, and don’t like to spend money unless it will add significant value to our lives. I remember saving money from my high school graduation, with dreams of one day being able to use it to fund my horse dreams. That was the very beginning of what eventually allowed us to move to this farm.
I saved through college, working part time as a nanny, two days a week, while taking all of my classes on the days when I wasn’t working. By the time I had graduated, I had saved about $12,000. Upon graduating I moved to Upstate NY, to be with my fiancé at the time, aka my now husband, Chris. I worked a part time job at a daycare, just down the road from his parents’ house, and saved what I could, although it was not a whole lot.
Chris also worked through college, but instead of being able to save, he put the money towards his school loans. This decreased the amount we had to pay off once he graduated significantly, taking off some of the pressure of high interest and payments upon graduation.
By the time we neared our wedding date, we had saved enough to buy a small house in the city, instead of renting an apartment. Chris had a job lined up, and while it didn’t pay extremely well, it paid enough for us to be able to afford a small mortgage. It wasn’t until after we had lived in the house for a couple of months, that I found a full-time job. The house was perfect for us at the time, offered plenty of room, a lot of character, and even a cute little backyard for us to raise a puppy and have a small garden.
Less than a year after we moved into that house, I began dreaming of moving to a farm. Since we had initially budgeted off of only one income, we prioritized saving almost all of my income. We didn’t know it at the time, but this strategic saving, was what led to the fulfillment of the farm dream. At first Chris was not so excited about the idea of moving, I think the financial pressure and fear of all that would come with a farm was just a lot for him to take in. Regardless, he allowed me to keep dreaming. Over time, my dream became his dream, and he began to be just excited about the farm life as I was. We started looking at properties, and actually almost ended up somewhere entirely different. I talk about that in the post, Finding and Buying the Farm | Our Story and Tips for Success. After a heart breaking experience of losing what we thought would be our dream farm, we unexpectedly went to see a little cape cod on 12 and half acres, what we now call the Sunshine Farm.
It wasn’t just our saving efforts that allowed this dream to come true, it was so much more than that. We knew this was the place God was calling us to. He had aligned everything in such a way that our dream was possible. Even though we moved into our farm in the middle of winter, the timing could not have been more perfect. It allowed us to plan, think, and prepare for actually starting a farm in the spring.
So friends, I hope this can be an encouragement to you as you dream. I hope our story inspires you to save with intention, and to trust God cares deeply about you, your heart, and your dreams, even as impossible as they seem. I never imagined I would have moved to our own little hobby farm when I was just 22 years old, and that right after my 23rd birthday, I would have been able to have my first horse, which was my very biggest dream.
From our story, I want to leave you with a few tips for making your farm dream a reality:
- Save NOW, even if the dream seems really far away. Save, and don’t touch the money unless you absolutely need it.
- Instead of increasing your cost of living as you get raises, promotions, or extra income streams, put all of that additional income into a savings account, or paying off loans that are prohibiting you from saving.
- Think outside of the box. Maybe you can make your dreams come true if you change your expectations a little. Do you need a 2,500 sq. ft. home? Or could you find a piece of land with a fixer upper and make improvements over time.
- Don’t let others’ doubts or expectations get in the way of how you feel called to live. Who cares if it isn’t normal. Normal isn’t very fun anyways.
- Prayer. I remember feeling hopeless when last minute plans fell through on a farm we were about to buy. Through prayer, I gained some peace and perspective, that God’s plan was truly best for us, even if I couldn’t see what that was.
That’s all for now friends.
All my best,